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Health Benefits Of Cocoa Flavanols Essay

959 words - 4 pages

Many people love to eat chocolate, and many will love it even more when they discover that it can actually be good for you. with that good news, people need to know what is good for them and what is bad for them. The part of chocolate that makes it healthy, is the nutrient cocoa flavanol. Dark chocolate contains a much higher cocoa flavanol content than that of milk chocolate. This contributes to the bitter taste, which usually makes people prefer milk chocolate over dark chocolate. Cocoa flavanols which can be found in dark chocolate can e used to provide a range of health short and long term health benefits.
Cocoa flavanols are phytonutrients that can be found in wine, tea, nuts, fruits ...view middle of the document...

They very rarely suffer from high blood pressure, and have a much lower rate of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. This was found to be the result of their high intake of the compound epicatechin, which can naturally be found in cocoa beans.
Both milk and dark chocolate contain flavanols, but the way a company processes their chocolate can ruin the benefits no matter what kind of chocolate it is. During the manufacturing process, the cocoa is alkalized so that it is easier to mix and digest. There has been recent research pertaining to the effect of alkalizing cocoa during manufacturing, and one of the study’s authors stated that “the large decrease found in the flavanoid content of natural cocoa powder, together with the observed change in the monomeric flavanol profile that results from the alkalization treatment, could affect the antioxidant properties of the cocoa.”
A company called Mars Botanical has been doing research with flavanols and chocolate for over 15 years. They believe the fact that manufacturing can result in nutrient loss, so they have developed their own way of processing in which they can retain optimum nutrients and taste. They heat the cocoa beans up to very high temperatures, which isolate the flavanols. They use this to produce the cocoa butter, and then go on to produce their own brand of chocolate bar such as Dove or CocoaVia. There is also a New Zealand based company called Whittaker’s, whose dark chocolate contains no milk whatsoever, so all the benefit of the flavanols are not washed out or reduced by the milk content.
Dark chocolate usually has between fifty to ninety five percent cocoa content, but for it to have noticeable health benefits, it should have at least seventy percent cocoa content. Just like cocoa flavanols, there have been many studies done with dark chocolate and they...

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